Can the golden boy of Copper Ridge, Oregon, get a second chance at happy-ever-after?
Ranching heir Colton West knew his wedding would be the talk of the town. But he didn't expect to get left at the altar—or to escape on the next flight to Vegas with Lydia Carpenter, the woman who gets under his skin like no one else. The only thing crazier than honeymooning with Lydia is waking up married to her. So why does he find himself entertaining his new wife's desire to stay married—and fantasizing about a real wedding night?
As Copper Ridge's prospective mayor, Lydia can't risk a divorce scandal so close to election time. But pretending to be blissfully in love with her new husband is more confusing than she'd thought. For a man who's always rubbed her the wrong way, Colton suddenly seems to know exactly what to do with his hands. And his lips. Now Lydia's wildest mistake could turn out to be her luckiest move, if they're both willing to take the ultimate gamble…
In Yates's strained ninth contemporary set in Copper Ridge, Ore. (after One Night Charmer), mayoral candidate Lydia Carpenter drunkenly creates a scandal that could ruin her chances for election. When she attends a wedding where the bride fails to appear, Lydia runs off to Las Vegas with the groom, Colton West, in an effort to spare him the humiliation. They awaken the following morning to find out that they got married, have consummated the union, and texted the happy news to their closest friends. What they already knew is that they hate each other. By now the reader will be wondering why people who despise each other nonetheless eloped; this is never satisfactorily explained. Colton has been responsible for his family since his older brother took off years earlier, and his father's infidelity provided him with a half-brother. He doesn't want to add more shame to the well-known family name, and of course Lydia has her political ambitions to consider. In an attempt to avoid more gossip, Lydia and Colton agree to stay married until after the election, their pretense opening the door to something real. The townspeople's easy acceptance of the marriage is as unbelievable as the gradually revealed reason for the protagonists' initial mutual dislike.